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How Chocolate Can Help Build Muscle

Chocolate is a product that has been known for many years. It is commonly believed to be an excellent snack or type of dessert. It is available in many variants, however, all of them have one feature in common – a unique flavor. It is an extremely pleasant temptation, which unfortunately has many calories. Some people are afraid that it has a negative impact on health. It turns out that specialists have a slightly different opinion on the subject. They believe that it can, among other things, support the body in building muscle. What effect does chocolate have on muscle tissue?

The effect of chocolate on your workout

Chocolate is a great product for weight loss. Of course, there are varieties containing from 70 to 90% cocoa, rather than those containing milk, with rich content of extra ingredients. Speaking of good quality chocolates, it is worth mentioning that their positive impact is due to a compound called Epicatechin. It is a substance that supports energy production. As a result, it has a positive effect on metabolism and facilitates the burning of calories. Used before a workout has a positive effect on the muscles – they react like after a heavy workout, and moreover, the body’s blood circulation is improved.

However, to achieve these results, it should be consumed before the workout. Thanks the Epicatechin positively influences vasodilation and facilitates intensive breathing. A definite advantage of high-quality chocolate is its low-calorie content – a small portion has about 150 calories, and yet allows achieving great results.

What is Epicatechin?

Epicatechin is a very important component of chocolate with a high cocoa content. It is an antioxidant naturally occurring in the cocoa extract. Its concentration is usually in the range of 1.5 to 3 mg per 1g. The mentioned cocoa extract is considered to be its best source, although it can also be found in apples, blackberries, raspberries, beans, or black tea. Its unique properties are appreciated by athletes building their silhouette, including muscle tissue growth. This is due to the fact that it increases the strength and endurance of muscles, and at the same time positively affects their growth. In this process, an important role is also played by the other properties, such as increasing blood circulation, lowering cholesterol levels, or improving insulin sensitivity.

The positive influence of Epicatechin on muscle growth is also due to the fact that it slows down the protein in the tissues. Myostatin, because this is what it is about, inhibits muscle growth. Athletes also notice another protein – Follistatin, which positively influences the growth of tissues. Epicatechin properly regulates the action of both types of protein – the one triggers, the other inhibits.

What other properties does chocolate have?

Chocolate also contains a large dose of polyphenol. This has a positive effect on lowering blood pressure and consequently minimizes the risk of a heart attack. Additionally, it positively influences the body’s immunity. Blood circulation is also worth mentioning. Appropriate blood flow stimulates the body and provides it with better oxygenation. As a result, the body produces an effective defense against viruses and bacteria.

Why eating dark chocolate is worth it?

The experts have calculated that regular consumption of dark chocolate significantly reduces the risk of a heart attack. This is due to the fact that it positively influences the reduction of bad cholesterol. Moreover, it also has anti-thrombotic properties and is recommended in the prevention of atherosclerosis. It also consists of fiber, which is responsible for reducing the appetite and desire to have something sweet.

Importantly, dark chocolate also increases the level of caffeine, and thus boosts activity. In turn, increased dopamine has a positive effect on your mood. Antioxidants also play an important role – they protect the skin from the harmful effects of sunlight and interfere with free radicals.

It also contains a large amount of theobromine alkaloid. This compound stimulates proper kidney function. Thanks to the diuretic effects the kidneys can perfectly cleanse themselves and protect the body from infections or water retention.

Which chocolate is recommended?

When choosing the right chocolate to support muscle building, you should rely on high-quality products. It should contain at least 70% cocoa. Besides a positive effect on muscle building, it provides a range of vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamins B and A, and E. Many people confirm that it also improves their mood and eliminates symptoms of nervous tension or stress. It is worth remembering that milk chocolate doesn’t have these qualities – only the dark version is recommended for athletes. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate for athletes is about 40-50 g.

Summary

As you can see, the properties and positive effects of chocolate on muscle tissue growth are enormous. Contrary to appearances, it is not a banned product for athletes. On the contrary, many nutritionists encourage to reach for it whenever weakness or unexpected hunger arises. It perfectly copes with the appetite and the desire for sweets. Everyone, even the most skilled athlete who has been working out for many years, may from time to time have a craving for something sweet. Occasionally or even regularly, but in limited amounts, eating chocolate will certainly not affect the workout results. On the contrary, it should be consumed without remorse. Not only physical skills are important in building muscle tissue, but also the psyche – proper thinking and functioning of the body is the key to success. Only they will make it easier to plan the right workout and adjust the balanced diet accordingly.

Once again, we would like to remind you that achieving these effects requires consuming high-quality chocolate. Please note that one product is not equal to another. It is best to check the ingredients of the products, the concentration of cocoa, but also other substances. In high-quality dark chocolate, sugar should not come first. Specialists remind you that all products in an athlete’s diet are allowed – the key is that they should be consumed reasonably.

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